Benjamin Tillett - Encyclopedia

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"BENJAMIN TILLETT (1860-), British Labour politician, was born at Bristol, Sept. 11 1860. He started work in a brickyard at eight years and was a " Risley " boy for two years. At 12 years he served for six months on a fishing smack, was afterwards apprenticed to a bootmaker and then joined the Royal Navy. He was invalided out of the navy and made several voyages in merchant ships. He then settled at the London Docks, and organized the Dockers' Union of which he became general secretary in June 1887, taking a prominent part in the dock strike of 1889. He was subsequently one of the pioneer organizers of the General Federation of Trades, National Transport Workers' Federation, National Federation of General Workers, International Transport Federation, and the Labour party. For many years he was an alderman on the L.C.C. After standing for Parliament unsuccessfully four times, he was elected in 1917 as Labour member for N. Salford. In 1910 he published A Brief History of the Dockers' Union, commemorating the 1889 dockers' strike, and in 1911 A History of the London Transport Workers' Strike.

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